have sommelier, will travel

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last year my husband and I went to Champagne & Burgundy on our honeymoon to France. It was a special trip I’ll always treasure. This May, we’re going to Italy and I’m looking forward to seeing the vineyards of some of the fantastic wines I’ve been introduced to this week. We’re also going to check out Slovenia and Croatia where some very interesting wines are being produced.

Travel has always been in my blood. I think it’s one of the reasons I love coffee and wine so much. They have “place” and reflect the nuances of that place.  I wish I had the time and money to be able to visit all the great vineyards in the world, but in lieu of that I can enjoy a great wine that can transport me there.

The question is: where to go?

The answer? Ask a sommelier. A sommelier’s craft is not only to know great wines but to also understand where they come from. They travel extensively to wine producing regions, study them religiously and spend a lot of time with producers to understand the “place” of the wine. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a visit of from the head of sales of the Produttori di Barbaresco at Frasca yesterday. Not only did I get to taste my way through the region of Barbaresco, but it was fascinating to hear about the land from the gentleman who has lived there his whole life. His two grandfathers were 2 of the original 19 farmers of Barbaresco; now there are 53.

At Frasca, they take those relationships even a step further by organizing wine events every Monday that showcase wine producers, often inviting the producers themselves to come talk about their wines. This Monday I went to their wine event featuring the unique macerated wines of Radikon. It was pretty special to hear Sasa Radikon talk about where the wine is from.

As much as I would like to live at Frasca, I think they might get a bit tired of seeing me there everyday. Luckily, I also have the Boulder Wine Merchant and can be transported to all kinds of amazing places through their wine selection. Brett Zimmerman, also a Master Sommelier, has gone to great lengths to introduce people to some of the best “terroir” you can get your hands on. The service he and his team provide will make you feel like you’re on a comfortable, impeccably guided tour as they walk you through where the wines come from. Gili in particular has been so helpful in educating me on wine.

It’s good to know outside of vacation I can still satisfy my travel bug through a nice bottle of vino. It’s even better to now know some wonderful sommeliers who are furthering my education of where what I’m drinking comes from.

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